October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in this final blog we’re talking about getting back to yourself after cancer and how to support someone on their journey.
Cancer sucks. We’re going to keep saying it! Cancer can literally suck the life out of you. It’s not weak or wrong to admit it. Cancer impacts every body from the patient to the caregivers to family to friends. It’s a draining, scary and confusing time.
Coming out of cancer or even a cancer scare is a time of excitement, hope and revival. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Coming out of any big health scare can be a shock to the system. Being in remission means that your body is not feeling the effects of cancer (put very, very simply). It doesn’t mean it’s all gone, it means it’s gone for now. Often, that’s news enough to celebrate! And rightfully so!
It’s also not unusual to just want to take a long nap. Fighting cancer is draining physically, mentally and emotionally. Going through such an upheaval can test relationships and even your own mental and emotional capacities. It’s important to be kind to yourself and to your loved ones as remission starts and the healing process continues.
Taking it Slow
Starting out on any health or wellness journey can be a daunting process. After dealing with the Big C, it’s important to start slowly. Any holistic health and wellness approach will include the sum of all parts: diet, exercise, sleep, mental health, social interactions and lifestyle adjustments.
Often people undergoing difficult medical treatments experience waves of nausea and stomach upsets that mean they literally can’t stomach certain foods. Getting back into the swing of things doesn’t have to mean a huge, indulgent meal. Start slowly introducing different foods, in line with the advice and recommendations of your doctor and health practitioner.
During treatment, it’s not uncommon to feel completely sapped of energy. Fighting cancer takes a lot! Once the treatments are done and you’re able to eat and drink more, you’ll likely feel like you have more energy and the capacity to be physically active will increase. Just like your diet, starting slowly but surely is the way to go. Follow your doctor's advice and ease into physical activity, take breaks when you need to and rest afterwards.
Sleep is one of those things that we need to function at every level. After going through a long illness, you might be sick of spending time in bed, but you also need it to build back your strength. It’s something of a catch-22 situation, isn’t it?
Getting enough sleep will help your brain and body to repair and reset. Boosting your sleep with active support pillows, like the Beauty Pillow, will help you to look and feel refreshed and rejuvenated, no matter how much time you spend in bed.
The Beauty Pillow is designed to elevate the head and neck comfortably, for a deeper, more restful sleep. Having an elevated pillow, instead of a traditional pillow helps to improve your blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Spending a lot of time resting can feel good and is definitely necessary for healing and recovery.
With traditional pillows, the fluids tend to pool in your face, leaving you looking and feeling bloated and blotchy - not what you want when you’re ready to be out and about! The Beauty Pillow’s patented design removes this, so you can put your best face forward with confidence.
Adding additional support pillows to your bedtime routine can help to improve your sleep hygiene and increase your comfort in bed. The Chest Pillow is designed to gently cushion the chest and reduce the tension and pulling in the shoulders and upper back.
The Chest Pillow's exterior is made of a soft silk-satin blend that is soft to the touch and gentle on delicate and sensitive skin. Adding a Chest Pillow to your bedtime routine can help to reduce nightly compression caused by some sleeping positions, increasing your comfort for better sleep.
Mental health is something that’s often overlooked. We talk a lot about health in terms of diet and exercise, but after such a huge life event, seeking out a mental health expert via therapy or counseling is a great way to process what you and your family just went through. In many cases, therapy is advised at the start of diagnosis and treatment, following up on what’s available with your health care advisors is the best course of action.
Getting social again can be tough. Big life events like cancer or cancer scares can be when we see people fall away. Making the most of your community and support network doesn’t mean you have to throw a big party. Taking the time to catch up will help you get back into the swing of things socially and bring you back to the humdrum happenings of daily life.
Lifestyle and how you live are intertwined. Having the energy to be social and participate in social activities, going for walks, even dining out are things that you might have struggled with when you weren’t feeling your best. Figuring out what you missed and what you want next is something that many people find motivates them post the Big C.
The name of the game for all of this is: slow and steady. Being in remission is a huge achievement and you should celebrate it!
Health and wellness at any stage of life is not a one fits all concept. As we age and grow our wellness needs and goals change. Being kind to yourself at any stage of your journey is the best way to appreciate your body and your individual needs.