The Big C Series: Coming Together

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All month we’re taking a minute to talk about Breast Cancer and how we can approach self care when we or someone we love is dealing with it and, how we can come together.  

This month we’d like to talk about community. We’re all part of a community, we have family, friends, colleagues who make up the sum of all parts and provide different levels of social care.

An essential element in our holistic health and wellness journey is community and our social health. Having a strong social network is one of the ways we get through tough times. 

Social and community ties help our mental and emotional health and boost our immune systems. Having a support network goes hand in hand with the trials and tribulations of life and it will most certainly help you make your way through cancer. 

We’re not saying having a social network will prevent cancer, that’s not what we’re about. Getting health care advice from qualified medical professionals is paramount.

The most difficult times in our life tend to be where some people stand out and others fall away. The community that rallies around when the going gets rough are the lifers. 

Every Little Bit Helps

We keep saying it: cancer sucks. It’s a superhero challenge to get through and it's a nigh on impossible task to stand idly by as a caregiver, relative or friend. As human beings, we like to feel helpful and there’s nothing worse than not being able to help someone in pain or discomfort. 

Helping out in small ways might seem insignificant, but when cancer or the treatment has sapped your loved ones energy, it can be the little things that count the most. 

Changing the sheets and bedding from cotton to silk will make a huge difference to comfort levels. Silk, we know, is a naturally smooth and soft fiber. This is perfect for reducing or even alleviating the skin sensitivities and irritation that cancer treatments can cause. Sliding onto a soft and smooth pillow at the end of the day will bring comfort and relief amidst the chaos and discomfort of the day. 

Silk is naturally moisture wicking, meaning night sweats and sweats from fevers won’t be absorbed into the material. Sitting or laying around in a pool of sweat is intensely uncomfortable, so switching out the cotton for silk is a must. 

The added benefit is silk is also a naturally cooling material. Reducing the physical stimulation of irritating fibers and physically reducing the impact of heat absorbent materials can go a long way to improving the comfort of someone going through intensive and exhausting treatments. 

Getting Shut Eye

Sleep can be hard to come by when undergoing in-patient treatment. Hospitals are not quiet places, with all the lights, the people and the machines. Switching off and out can be a hard task, which can make treatment recovery harder. Our bodies need sleep to repair and restore, especially during harsh treatments and bouts of intense sickness. 

A Silk Eye Mask can be a great way to block out the light stimuli and makes an excellent, practical gift. Blocking out light and stimuli can help improve sleep hygiene, for a deeper more restful sleep, even in a chaotic environment. 

Beauty Pillow’s Silk Eye Masks are designed to be soft around the delicate eye area. The padding is thick and moldable, helping to block light and disturbances that can interrupt sleep. They’re a simple, thoughtful gift for a difficult time. 

Practically Magic

We’re really tuned into the idea of gifts and gift giving and while it’s nice to give and receive, sometimes the best thing to do isn’t something material. Dealing with cancer is scary. There’s doctors and nurses and more all talking in medical jargon, using big scary words that have a lot of meaning and weight. 

It’s confusing and draining. Sometimes the best thing to do is just talk. After all, a social network isn’t just about giving gifts, however practical. Our friends and families are there to lend an ear, or even tell tall tales to distract us from reality. When you’re in an impossible situation, sometimes all you need is a distraction. Take the time to gossip, watch a movie, listen to some music - whatever it is, do it together and make it a memorable experience. 

Our communities are there to celebrate the good times and help us through the tough times, one of the hardest things can be letting them. When you let people in, it’s often the most rewarding. 

What are some of your favorite things your community has done to help you through a tough time?