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 Add Music to Your Assortment of Self-Care Techniques During Breast Cancer

Music as a self-care-technique-for-breast-cancerChoosing an “M” word was a challenge as there are so many important “M” words like movement, mindfulness, mojo, and money. However, in my desire to give you tools of practice each day, I chose Music.

Music is readily available to all of us in one form or the other. We can listen to it on the radio or applications like Pandora.. We can enjoy a particular performer and develop a taste for specific genres. I was an adult before I acquired a taste for classical music. Mozart is particularly healing music as it can relax the brain and allow the right and left side of the brain to communicate in creative ways with each other. Often times, I will have parents of an adolescent ADD or ADHD client play Mozart in the background of a homework station because we now know that Mozart helps with focused attention. Music makes our heart smile and our body move.

Music is capable of taking us to far away places inside of us. It can help calm your fears, stir your mojo, bring forth your inner warrior, or distract you from worry. Unless you are a music lover by nature you might forget this important key to helping you let go, relax, and reboot. Thus, today choose to explore your music options.

  1. YouTube has a lot of music that you can listen to and watch for free.
  2. The Pandora app allows you to put together your own songs on a list and create your own station.
  3. If you have CD’s, you may enjoy a trip down memory lane to see what you used to listen to and what you enjoy now.

I want you to play with this avenue of music and be creative.

  • Listen to rap if you have never listened to it before.
  • Listen to new performers or international performers.
  • Listen to your favorite song in a different language.

Create your own list of songs for chemotherapy or after radiation. Choose music that elevates your mood and allows you to move a bit. Sing along to the music to drown out the background worry. Today, add Music to your assortment of self-care techniques and enjoy using Music often to elevate your mood.

Photo Source: English.Sina.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.

A Woman to Woman NEW YEAR Resolutions: Wants vs Needs

A Woman to Woman NEW YEAR Resolutions- Wants vs Needs“Kat, what is your New Year’s Resolution?” a friend asks over lunch. “Mine is to give up cigarettes and sugar” she says, while shaking a packet of sweetener substitute into her coffee.

“Mine’s to not give up anything and to put myself first,” is my answer. “Then I’ll refocus on implementing the difference between wants and needs in life.”

My friend stops stirring her coffee, peers over her sunglasses, and asks, “What do you mean by that?”

The concept of “care-giver first” and the difference between want and need were clearly alien to her. For the longest time they were to me, too.

Crisis can re-prioritize your life.
These concepts introduced themselves during radiation therapy while battling breast cancer recurrence. The side effects of emotional emptiness were more severe than treatment burns in some women because they were unaware of the importance of soul self-care.

Unfortunately burn-out is an equal opportunity state of emotion that affects men, too.

Statistics show that women worldwide are the main care-givers in life who share unconditionally until there is nothing left. Their inner well runs dry. Lately, an alarming pattern of self-induced emptiness has emerged during these uncertain economic times.

Part of the problem is not distinguishing between wants and needs.
Families have many wants, and care-givers try to meet those wants as needs; a terrible burden to carry. Care-givers are burned-out from giving so much of themselves to those who want more than is available. The result is nothing left to give to people who truly need help, including themselves. Weak emotional boundaries crumble under the weight of want. Medication and psychotherapy fills the void and dulls feelings of frustration and failure.

When the spirit suffers the body cries out with symptoms of dis-ease. Listen to yourself.
Breast Cancer Authority Blog New Year 2016Now is the dawning of a New Year. Here are three resolutions that are antidotes to emptiness. They are written as choice-affirmations that complement and empower the people who choose to live them.

  • “I will choose to love and embrace myself.”
  • “I will choose to put myself first and give myself permission to be number one in my life.”
  • “I will choose to build strong defined boundaries using the power of “NO!” as a tool.

Saying “no” to others is difficult because care-givers love to please, and will go without so others may have more. Some of this is care-giver conditioning. It may be time for retraining.

Recondition yourself. Say “Yes!” to you, which can automatically so “No” to imbalance.
When going through chemotherapy, my psychotherapist armed me with a powerful mantra as an aid through the uncertainty of treatment. “You are number one. No one and nothing is more important than you.” She was right! As a cancer hotline phone counselor and mentor, that mantra is still important, today. How can an empty counselor give to others?

Fire up your heart with self-love. You want to be embraced but need to hug yourself first.
Intention powered by the flame of loveThe importance of the mantra was even more evident during the Stitch-n-Bitch (as we liked to call ourselves) radiation therapy group. Women who had been the sole care-givers of their family were suddenly discarded when circumstances shifted and they needed care. These women said that without the love and devotion of their lovers or significant others, they were nothing. They lacked the power to survive.

Breast Cancer Authority Blog New Years 2016Their chances for a full recovery were challenged by their depression and feelings of emotional emptiness. Our little group spent hours discussing wants versus needs. So deep were these discussions that the nurses, radiologists and counselors listened in and took notes.

We came to some profound conclusions.
We want others to love us, but we need to love ourselves. We want a big beautiful house, but we really only need a roof over our heads. We want to eat in fancy restaurants, but we just need nutritious food. The lists of wants versus needs were endless. Realizing the difference between them, however, was the first step in becoming emotionally, physically and financially fulfilled. Trying to meet the endless demands of keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ is expensive on so many levels. The reality of trying to keep up with Reality TV can be emotional and financial bankruptcy. Understanding this truth is the first step to teaching it to our family.

Putting reality into practice will help us, as care-givers, become aware of our limitations.
It has been easy to fall back into old habits and become lax in practicing what that little group preached during those difficult times, so many years ago. Now, it is time to put want-versus- need back into daily practice.

When something seems enticing, the question will be, “Is that truly needed, or just wanted?”
This New Year, focus on inner-balance. Embrace being kind and forgiving to you first, then practice good-will toward others. As you step out of your comfort zone it might feel odd, which may be validation that you are creating a new empowered habit. Seek out and join a community; a “sister-hood of women” (or men), as your support system. Their strength will keep you from feeling alone during times of despair and their resources will help you meet the needs of your family and friends.

Here is an example of an empowering statement to repeat that can help you settle into this new habit. “When my body is fatigued, I will rest. When my soul is tired, I will meditate. I will surround myself with things I love like positive friends, pets, plants, music and fragrant candles while immersed in healing waters from a bath or shower.”

Too many of us have lost a part of ourselves and are experiencing a void. Enjoying your favorite things will fill your soul with joy.
As with the Chinese yin and yang, which are seemingly opposing forces bound together, intertwined, and interdependent in the natural world, we are complex creatures comprised of body and soul. These two diabolically different parts must be in balance as a duality for complete health of body and mind. Like yin and yang, male and female, your body and soul are a dynamic equilibrium duo. If one disappears, the other must fade as well, leaving emptiness.

When one part of self is full it flows into the other.New Years 2016 on Breast Cancer AuthorityIt is time to face forward into a New Year of balance comprised of yin and yang, love and self-love, and forgive mistakes we cannot change. We can learn from our past to build a positive future. The good news is a sisterhood or brotherhood of women and men is only a phone call, post or tweet away to help you refill yourself with the love you deserve and NEED.

Balance yourself. Take care of your soul and it will take care of you . . . then help others.

Kathleen O'Keefe-Kanavos Breast Cancer Authority ContributorKathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is TV Producer/Host of Wicked Housewives On Cape Cod and Author/Lecturer of the International award winning, bestseller, Surviving Cancerland: Intuitive Aspects of Healing which promotes Dream Therapy, patient advocacy and connecting with Inner guidance for success in health, wealth and relationships. Learn more @ AccessYourInnerGuide.com
(all photos are owned by the author)

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.

 

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