Breast Cancer Psychologist Offers Self-Healing Books For Patients

Good afternoon this is Robin Dilley from Phoenix Arizona.  I’m making this video, especially for Breast Cancer Authority Blog because I think there’s a couple of fun things that you don’t know about us yet that I would like for you to know. One is Dawn Bradford and I have been collaborating and we have a project that we finished over a year ago and we’ve not done any advertising and I think it’s about time that you know about it because book two is almost ready to come out.

Our first book is Breast Cancer: A – Z Mindful Practices, this is a very simple very short trip through the alphabet.  A to Z it’s designed for those people in treatment at this time and it’s designed to keep it safe simple and uncomplicated.

When I was a breast cancer patient I wanted a story that let me know how other people did it and at that time I wrote the book In a Moment’s Notice a Psychologist Journey with Breast Cancer.

In addition to my first book, I also wanted to compose something simple. There were so many medical appointments, so many treatment options, so many decisions to be made it became overwhelming.  Most of the time you need something simple so I’ve created a simple book along with Dawn Bradford’s help.

This simple book has wonderful little things for you to think about, like how important is laughter, which is the L word for this book.  It’s so important that we keep laughing through this process.  life is short for all of us and laughter is the best medicine.

So you can pick up your copy of this today amazon.com by just typing in Breast Cancer A – Z Mindful Practices. I hope you’ll do that I hope you’ll find the book really helpful and keeping you present calm and collected through your treatment.

I just want you to know that it’s a very tedious hard journey and you are the hero in this journey so whatever we can do to help you out we want to do that and hopefully this little book will be helpful you can download it or you can buy it in paperback it’s completely up to you and I wish you the best on your journey.

Dr. Robin B. Dilley’s Books:

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.

New Self-Help Book For A Positive Future

“Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” offers a map from one’s past to successful, fulfilled present!

Robin B. Dilley, PhD releases ‘Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness’ that explores one’s past to understand their actions and launch their way to a positive and fulfilled future with her new self-help book. “Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” (published by Balboa Press) expounds on the power of journal writing in addressing issues and inspires readers to tell their own success story.

Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” provides reflective questions and writing pages that help readers dig deeper into the themes in their life. It is a book for the curious; with a hands-on approach designed to take the reader into the heart of their childhood and lead them on the path out to a healthier lifestyle in the present.

“Everyone has a family with good and bad traits. Identifying those messages is the first key to integrating and resolving present day bad habits that you have been wanting to ditch for years,” Dilley points out. “I want readers to experience their own resilience and celebrate their strengths moving forward with hope and courage.”

Engaging and thought-provoking, this book discovers “more of who you are and freeing you to become who you want to be,” highlighting how change becomes essential to growth. “Writing Your Way to Healing and Wholeness” is a map from the past to the present.

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About the Author
Robin B. Dilley, PhD, the author of “In a Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer” and is currently working on “Breast Cancer: Emotional Support A-Z,” is a licensed clinical psychologist with 35 years’ experience. She studied and practiced psychotherapy for many years earning a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and proceeded to earn her doctoral degree from Union Institute in 1992. During her journey with breast cancer, she fell in love with the spiritual practice of walking the labyrinth and became an advanced Veriditas Labyrinth facilitator as recently as 2015. She also practices the importance of meditation to improve health, reduce stress and usher in happiness. In her free time, Dilley’s passion to write, whether it be as a professional blogger or author, has opened avenues for her to reach others searching for personal empowerment, healing and growth.

The Gap: An Important Mindfulness Technique

I had the pleasure of listening to Pema Chodron (Buddhist Monk and author) and KD Lang (Musician, singer, songwriter) in a conversation this morning on Live Stream. I was struck by several things, but the one that stood out for me is the concept of the Gap. I want to share the concept of the Gap with you, the reader.

The Gap is that in between space where you come to understand the presence of NOW. It is that moment when you look up from a hiking path and notices the sky, the tree, or the bird. The Gap is a sacred space within, when you realize you are part of the outer world.

It seems to me that as people living in the world of cancer, you can use the practice of the Gap regardless of where you are on your path. For instance, fall is my favorite time of the year and I am so excited about its arrival. that I know I will have many Gap moments when I see beautiful leaves dropping the magic of their colors on the ground as they leave naked branches ready for winter. What Gap moments might you look forward to this fall? What magical part of the day will you practice breathing into the Now. The Gap is that space within you that allows you to breathe deeply from the inside out.

As people experiencing cancer life can become very ugly and painful as rancid smells and nauseating waves of emotion run askew inside of your inner darkness. It is important that you do not live in the darkness. Pema Chodron might say something like, “Don’t run from the darkness, touch it, explore it and move on past it.” The practice of the Gap is a tool to help you move past the darkness into the NOW.

Looking for something good and magical in your day will help you practice the Gap and stay in the Now. If you can’t see magic in your day then create magic in your day. If you are irritated with not getting the results you want with your health care, then focus on something else that you have control over. For instance, purchase some fall flowers. Take time to have a Gap moment with those flowers. Smell them, touch them and notice how each one is uniquely different from every other one. Have you ever noticed that no two flowers are exactly alike? Notice the nuances in the shades of the colors, notice the stems. Notice each flower as you arrange it in the vase. These flowers traveled from rich fertile soil and were “harvested” for your delight. All cut flowers will die. But each flower has its own elegance, story, and purpose in your life today. That purpose is here to bring you joy and to put a gentle smile on your face. Enjoying flowers is a Gap moment. Take a breath and look up and see your room come to life because you placed a vase of flowers on your night stand or kitchen table. You took the time to create a Gap that brings you delight.

As you learn to experience Gap moments, be the Gap in someone else’s life today. Pick up the phone and call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. Send a card to someone who needs a connection. Smile at the clerk in the grocery store and tell them, “I hope you have a really good day,” as you look them in the eye. Be the Gap in other people’s lives daily and you will experience more Gap moments in your day-to-day life that is full of the necessary medical appointments, follow-ups and tests. I even imagine your health care team will respond to you more positively if you are practicing Gap moments in your life.

See you are not cancer. You are not your disease. You are a person with many roles and facets to your life. Don’t let cancer define you. Smile, in spite, of the cancer. Bring smiles to other people’s lives. Make a difference today and you will be happier because you did.

For more information and exercises for cancer patients read Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices.

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.

Happy New Year

Breast Cancer Authority Blog Wishing U Happy New YearDr. Robin Dilley, Author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey With Breast Cancer and a licensed psychologist.

The NEW YEAR is filled with hype and promises of change. I suppose that is good in many ways because if we didn’t have some day to mark our effort at new beginnings perhaps we would never begin the arduous path of change. Yes, I used the word arduous. Arduous means difficult, trying, taxing and full of effort. But guess what, change is not something that happens without arduous work. Thus, let me switch the focus here for cancer survivors. You already know and are intimately acquainted with the word arduous. Your New Year began with the day of your diagnosis. Everything changed within that moment when the doctor said, “You have cancer.” A myriad of feelings ran through your body, your mind hit the numb switch and a blur of medical terminology flew at you like a foreign language. It felt like the doors blew open and regardless of what time of year you heard those words, the world shed its color and the bleakness of winter swept through a broken barn door. Everything familiar turned unfamiliar and difficult emotions would not be shut-up. But guess what? You are reading this today. Perhaps you are in the throws of difficult treatment, perhaps remission has slipped far away from your grasp, or perhaps you are feeling on top of the world with your foot firmly planted against cancer’s neck and the flag of hope is flying high. Regardless of your state of being, January 1, 2015 is here. You made it. Your arduous work has paid off for now. Arduous work does not necessarily change the outcome but it does change your character as you move through this battle. You are a champion today. You are an Olympian Champion with a gold medal. You suited up and sweat it out, trained and tested the limits of your endurance. No one knows your journey like you do. Know one can stand by the sidelines and cheer you with an adequate sense of what it is like. Hopefully you have cheerleaders. Cheerleaders help when you are on that 22-mile of a 26-mile marathon. The band plays and the cheerleaders’ shout-out, “almost there, keep going.” Hope fills your mind and breath enters your being and you pick up your speed and declare, “almost there.” January 1st, 2015 will be unpredictable and regardless of how arduous you are you will not be able to control the outcome. However, an arduous (hearty and profound) spirit will help you take the next step and then your next step. Yes, some days you may want to give up and if you do, don’t worry. Just allow yourself to give-up for a day or two. Stay in bed if you want. Sleep. Drink green tea and look out your window. Watch a movie or do ABSOLUTELY nothing. Giving up requires energy and effort too. Letting yourself relax into your bed for a few days can give you a renewed sense of self. Once you renew yourself then you will know what your next step is. You will be ready to take it. Be kind, be gentle, and be good to yourself this year. No one can do this journey for you. Those friends that walk along side of you while you are on this journey are often feeling helpless about how to help. Tell them what you need. They cannot read your mind. Helping them, help you is a gift that you give to them. Your journey is something no one else can do for you and as you face your journey eye-ball to eye-ball you come to understand the complexities of a fear blended hope that keeps you placing one foot in front of the other to see what will happen next. Remain curious. Remain open. Remain hopeful. Be encouraged that none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow, so make the best that you can out of today. Tomorrow do the same. One day at a time is how 2015 is meant to be lived. Live it well.
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.

What Is PTSD And How Does It Affect Breast Cancer Survivors?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Breast Cancer

Dr. Robin Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer and licensed psychologist

Prior to my personal diagnosis with breast cancer, I was unaware that I had PTSD. I never had to examine my belief that everyone who gets cancer dies of cancer because that belief seemed normal to me. But in 1999 when I was diagnosed with Stage II estrogen positive breast cancer that belief was seriously in my way. This is what I learned about myself. Prior to the age of five I had a black nanny, Matt, that took care of me when my blue-collar hard working parents were working. I remember her sweet scent to this day. Before I could spend most of my hours at school, Matt had to leave me to take care of her sister who was dying from shhhh, “cancer.” Of course at the age of five I did not know this because the word cancer was not spoken nor at five could I have comprehended what it meant. I do know that Matt was replaced with skinny, old, white woman who did not smile, grumbled under her breath and whom I thought was mean. Later, when I was old enough to inquire why Matt left, I was told she had to go to take care of her sister who had cancer. Somewhere in that process the synapse in my brain put together that cancer causes people to leave your life permanently. Thus my fear of cancer killing people was written deep within my personal script.

It took some interpersonal work as to how I began to believe that people with cancer leave you but I finally connected the dots and it became crystal clear. Insight in and of itself does not change belief systems or the symptoms of PTSD that surround the beliefs. In order for me to get a new perspective I had to grieve Matt and say good-by to her sweet scent and plump cheeks. Then space inside of me opened up and I began to put adult emotions, feelings, and beliefs with this big C word, “cancer.”

PTSD, Post-traumatic stress disorder is a DSM V diagnosis in the mental health world. You have probably heard of it in relationship to war veterans returning home. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that causes the brain to fire in irrational and obsessive patterns after someone has gone though an extreme emotional trauma that involves a threat to his/her life or perceived threat of danger. Cancer, whether it is yours or someone who is close to you sends off alarms into your central nervous system bringing in hyper-arousal and says, “threat is on board.” Cancer and the very threat of cancer create the war like environment for PTSD.

Thus what can you do to cope with this threat in healthy ways to in order to respond to real or perceived threat of cancer in order to manage PTSD symptoms.

First, give yourself a break and acknowledge the truth. Cancer is scary and creates rivers and avenues of fear within. Don’t try not to be afraid. Being brave is not the same as not being afraid. Being brave means that you know and understand the risks involved and respond to each risk with positive action, regardless of your level of fear.

Second, get enough rest. PTSD symptoms are intrusive showing up in nightmares, disruptive sleep, and early morning dread. Discover which tools are going to help you rest. If you need a night -light because the dark is all of sudden too scary buy a soft light positive action night- light. One that makes your face smile when you see its glow in your dark room. Experiment with some night- time organic herbal teas, such as chamomile to see if tea will assist you to sleep. Melatonin can be tried as well. If you are in treatment and it is too uncomfortable to sleep lying down, then sleep in a recliner chair or propped up with a bouquet of pillows. Rest is your friend. When you worry, the very biology of worry breaks down your cells. If you are in chemo, radiation or both, then your healthy cells are getting beat up, so rest as much as you can.

Third, have an assortment of music at your fingertips. One day you might really want to hear angry heavy metal music blaring through your house because that might be reflecting your inner state and pleasant massage music is just too annoying when you are agitate. Let music reflect outwardly you inner state.

You can also inexpensively decorate or redecorate your environment. Make it bright, colorful and full of art that makes you smile. You may want to create a wall of 8X11 pieces of paper with one word on each piece of paper, such as hope, fight, care, do, and be. Use colors that make you smile. If something in your environment makes you growl or frown each time you see it, toss it immediately. Even if it is that ugly putrid green vase your mother gave you. Don’t keep stuff around you that you have to look at just because you feel like you should.

Other things that you can add to your environment to manage your PTSD symptoms are journaling your feelings, aromatherapy, funny movies, and good friends. Go to support groups, seek counsel from a professional who works with cancer patients and read to educate and inform your self. It is important that you come to this cancer well prepared and ready. Knowledge is power. Do not be afraid to learn about just exactly what is going on with you. Of course, it will be scary but the knowledge will help you make the best-informed decisions about your treatment and your life style.

Last, remember that you are priceless and valuable. Nothing you did caused this to happen to you. You are not bad. One day there will be a blog about shame and life threatening illness, but for today comfort and manage those PTSD symptoms.

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.

Dr. Robin B. Dilley’s Top TWELVE Psychotherapy Tools

To Do List-Top 12 ToolsBy Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer & licensed psychologist.

Psychotherapy is a journey of positive self-care, positive actions, positive thinking and positive being. It is an investment in yourself that does not get packed into a sixty- minute session once a week. Being a person surviving Breast Cancer you have invested countless hours in research, medical appointments, and treatment options and alternatives. Now, as I say to my psychotherapy clients it is time to focus on all of the other hours of the week that you are not doing treatment. Below is a guideline. Pick and choose what speaks to you. The list is not in any particular order. The time guidelines are just that, guidelines.

1.) Practice a daily time of meditation as a way to learn mindfulness.

How: Make a safe place in your home where you can sit. Sit for ten minutes a day in the same spot. You can use music to listen to if you have a hard time with silence. Classical music or Tibetan Singing Bowls can be very helpful. Focus on your breath, breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly.  Pay attention to your body. Breathe in and let go of the tight places. Notice your thoughts and let them pass on through, as if entering the front door and walking out the back door.

2.) Draw a circle and choose three crayon colors to represent your current emotional state. Take 20 minutes and color in the circle. Then choose a happy color and color the outside of the circle until there is now white space left. Next, name your piece of art and then put it away. Get up and go and do something on your to do list.

3.) Have a journal and record your thoughts and feelings. It has been proven by the Journal of the American Medical Association, that writing down your thoughts helps you feel better by allowing you to get your thoughts out of your head and down on paper. It provides you with a better sense of objectivity.

4.) Track your emotions, depression, anxiety, or personal problem on a scale of 1-10 every day. 10 is feeling great and in charge of your life. 1 is a state of overwhelm and victimization. On anything below 5 ask your self what you can do make it better for today? For instance, if your depression is a 1 what can you do to make it a 2? Any of the above exercises can be helpful. If it is 6 or above ask yourself what you are doing and can do to keep it there?

5.)  Have an inner dialogue with yourself, your inner child, the compassionate mother within or a wise inner mentor.

6.) Breathe. Sit and count your breaths 1-10 three times, get up and do something else.

7.) Make a to-do list and refer to it daily. Check three things off a day.

8.) If you are experiencing relationship issues, have you and your partner read a self help book and talk about it.

9.) If you are having financial problems discover online tools on how to budget, save, and track your spending

10.) Spirituality is often the key to getting additional resources for your daily life. Explore a spiritual practice you have never considered, such as Buddhism, Yoga, Tai Chi, Labyrinth Walking, Prayer, or explore a convenient and positive congregation near you. You may discover that not all churches are like they use to be when you decided to close the door of your spiritual connection. (I am not saying that you closed the door or aborted your spirituality, I am asking you to explore how to incorporate spirituality in your life today and allow it to be meaningful.)

11.) BREAST CANCER survivors, focus on the positive things that you do each day to help your body heal and recover. Acknowledge the small steps.

12.) Keep a gratitude Journal and re-read.

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.

 

In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Authority Blog Bestseller Book Review & Giveaway! – In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer.

In A Moments Notice - Breast Cancer Authority Bestseller

About The Book

This book is the culmination of Dr. Robin B. Dilley’s poignant journey to wellness after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Dr. Dilley’s story offers a unique voice, blending her clinical insights with spiritual awakenings along her journey. She describes in detail her emotional struggle to make sense out of the disease and the medical world while showing a strong and solid reliance on her profound spirituality. Her journey introduces amazing characters that she encountered along the way as her life took on new meaning, including the development of her friend and ally, the Tiger.

From the Author

In A Moment’s Notice:A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer“>In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer Finally, I have finished my book about my eleven-year journey with breast cancer. When I was going through treatment I wanted to read someone else’s story, but could not find a book that talked about the ups and downs of treatment and how this disease drastically as well as subtlety changes your life and the lives of those around you. I read thousands of articles, and medical reports, but at that time, I could not find a single book that would talk to me about what it was like. I have now written that book and you can order it now.

About the Author

Dr. Robin B. Dilley is an Arizona licensed psychologist in private practice.She received her doctoral degree from Union Institute in 1992 and has been practicing as a clinician in the field of psychotherapy since 1978. “Psychotherapy for Personal Growth and Redirection” is the heart of Dr. Dilley’s practice, so regardless of what the problem is, there is a solution. The solution is found in the journey, not in the destination.

Book Giveaway Details

Like Dr. Robin Dilley’s book? You can have one, too!  Robin has generously agreed to give away a In A Moment’s Notice:A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast CancerIn A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer($9.99 value) to one lucky reader.  All you have to do is leave a comment below with your email address so we may notify the winner of our Breast Cancer Authority Bestseller Giveaway.  We will randomly select a commenter to receive one book, signed by the author.We will announce the winner on the Breast Cancer Authority Blog and on our Breast Cancer Yoga Facebook page.

THREE – MINUTE CHECK IN

Doctor Dilley AdviceDr. Robin Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer and a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona.

Our bodies do not lie. They always tell the truth. However, in our Western Culture we often use our bodies as if they are machines, neglected machines at that. We find ourselves waking up in the morning and expecting that when our feet hit the floor that our legs will work, our balance with stabilize us, and our bodies will move throughout the day making them do what it is that we think we need. We seldom give our bodies another thought. You are on this website or this blog because you have an interest in the body-mind connection. You have found that it is important to incorporate your body into your healing process. Some of us resonant with Yoga, others of us do not. No problem. Here is a simple exercise that I created for you to check in with your body and this exercise will help you get to your YES, in the previous blog. Our bodies deserve our focus and attention and it can be as simple as stopping our endless activity and taking three minutes to check in. The three minute check is a simple mindful body scan to acknowledge what your body wants and does not want.

How to do a Body Scan Meditation

Learning to scan your body for information is a way of practicing mindfulness. Here are some easy steps.

  1. Turn your attention to your body. You don’t need any fancy way of sitting, a meditative place to go, or any special equipment. Take a breath and turn your attention toward your body.
  2. Notice what position it is in. How are you currently sitting? What aches? What is uncomfortable? Take a moment to practice slow breathing. Breathe all the way in and exhale as if you are blowing out a candle. Crunch your body up tightly and gently let it go. Breathe, crunch, and breathe again.
  3. Bring your goal, wish, or your want to the foreground of your mind’s eye. Allow yourself to sit with it for a few moments. Even allow yourself to say your goal gently out loud, or to yourself. Allow yourself to imagine that goal being accomplished. See the finished accomplishment. Notice what you feel. How does your body respond to that finished accomplishment?
  4. What is happening to your tension, neck, back, shoulders, stomach? Just notice it. Breathe again, deeply in and gently blow out the candle.
  5. Notice any negativity, resistance, restraint, and observe. Breathe into it and exhale slowly.
  6. Notice again your body. Is there a YES? If not, what is there? Sadness, fear, anger. Accept it, smile at it. “Ah yes, there you are. You have been trying to get my attention and I have been running and avoiding you. What do you need me to know?” If you have your YES, make it bigger in size and then smaller in size.
  7. Just observe what happens to your body when you stop long enough to listen.
  8. As you listen, allow yourself to experience. Stay close to yourself. Use your breath to regulate your emotion. Move toward the emotion, not away from it. Give yourself a bit of time to just be here now.
  9. Bring your awareness back to your body. Notice what it is feeling and where. Use your breath to gently raise and lower your abdomen. Let yourself smile and say thank-you.
  10. Gently allow yourself to come back to the here and now.

Do this exercise as often as you can. By experimenting with this exercise often through-out the day you learn information about yourself that you do not normally take time to pay attention to. This important information will guide you to better and more positive choices for yourself and even for those around you. If you body cringes every time it is around a certain person, what is it that your body wants you to know? If your body feels upbeat and energetic around other people, notice. You get to choose who, how often and under what circumstances people are in your daily life. Your body can become your best radar as to who is good for you or whom you need to place a protective ring around yourself when you have to be around them. Your imaginary ring of protection will help you not to absorb their energy or allow you to be brought down by their negativity. The imaginary ring protects. More about protection, safety, and emotional health in the next blog.

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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