Verity’s anti-cancer toolbox
Tools to live with cancer after diagnosis – by Verity
These are the 22 varied things I put in my “toolbox” to help me take control over my cancer diagnosis in August 2010 (some weren’t in existence at the time eg some of the books but I’ve added them in anyway )
I’m not saying this works for everyone, so far it has for me with my particular disease (and personality!) but I am often asked to advise friend’s friends etc that I thought I would put it down for all to read.
PLEASE do your own research, these are just my personal findings and do not in anyway constitute a medical opinion or otherwise.
1. First of all BREATHE (seriously, do it now , observe your breath – it means you’re still alive – hurrah!
2. Beg, borrow, steal, buy, download “Anti-cancer, A new way of life” by Dr David Servan-Schrieber – if you read my bio you’ll see this book was a wonderful turning point for me, enabling me to take control back over my body.
3. If you live in UK call (or get someone else to as Idid – I didn’t want to speak about my cancer to strangers on the phone at that early stage) Penny Brohn Cancer Care and find out when their invaluable courses and retreats are being held – they are free to attend and will help you put into practise self-help techniques such as meditation, visualisation, food, discussion groups
(in Australia there is The Gawler Foundation)
4. BREATHE – oh yes, you’re still here!
5. Accept all the help that is offered to you and your family, DON’T be too proud.
5. Buy “The Cancer Journey” it’s a fantastic staring point as its apt title suggests, it wasn’t out when I was diagnosed but on my journey I have met one of the co-authors, fellow cancer-thriver, Polly Noble –
You will not regret buying this book if you or someone you know has cancer.
6. Check out the Gerson Therapy – that’s all I’m saying!
7. Contact or look at the website for Yes to Life (UK) they can help you navigate all things integrative.
8. Contact Patricia Peat at CancerOptions (UK based but can Skype consult anywhere in the world!)
I found out about her a year after my diagnosis and she has been invaluable in suggesting treatments to integrate with my orthodox ones and is also my “independent advisor” on all things cancer – she also does a good line in emailed jokes if I’m feeling low!
9. EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique (sometimes referred to as “Tapping”) is a great no-nonsense way of sorting yourself out with emotional issues and also physical ones. Best done with a qualified practitioner either face to face or on Skype, but is also something you can do for yourself in between sessions. Www.thetappingtreatment.com
10. Find a good Naturopath www.naturopathy.org.uk
11. Breathe – yes again (find out more about breathing (!) at http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2012/02/how-to-breathe-to-your-advantage/
12. If you are having Chemotherapy there are ways of nurturing your body alongside it – especially good whole food, I had to spend some time in hospital and friends and family bought in fresh vegetable juices, homemade soups, Aloe Vera juice everyday (note ice cream, crisps, coke and chips ARE NOT nurturing food.)
13. Exercise – even if it’s 5 minutes walk in the fresh air then build up whilst having treatment, I now do body nurturing and strengthening exercise with Pilates,yoga and Walking
14. Join Twitter and Facebook it’s a great way of finding out what others are doing (you don’t have to spill your innermost thoughts out – its perfectly okay to just watch and listen)
A good start on twitter might be to follow:
@verityslife (yup that’s me!)
Some “likes” on Facebook could be
Life over Cancer
Verity’s Anti-cancer lifestyle
Anti-cancer, A new way of life
15. Get a juicer (for people with cancer I highly recommend a “masticating juicer” not a centrifugal one)
and use it for green vegetable juices – to fund the purchase of my masticating juicer I sold a load of books through Amazon that I had accumulated from my career as an interior designer
16. Invest in a kindle or other e-reader – they are great for reading in bed or having on a hospital bed table in front of you when you’re tired
17. Friends and family who want to help you research treatments etc on the internet- make sure they know your exact cancer & status eg mine is metastatic breast cancer in bones that is HER2+, ER+ and PR+
18. When you have appointments with your oncologist don’t worry how many people you take with you – I once had three others apart from my husband with me. We found that whilst David and I are so intent on asking the questions sometimes we forget the whole answer and so take a friend or family member along to take notes – or record the appointment – my oncologist does for his notes.
19. Get “Zest for Life” by Conner Middelmann-Whitney a great anti-cancer cookbook
20. When you get upset or depressed or feel sorry for yourself don’t stress about it – as Kris Carr says it happens to the best of us just don’t let it go on for any longer than three days at a time – I found how its amazing when I remember this the feeling goes so much quicker!
21. Acupuncture – Traditional Chinese Acupuncture helps with overall body balance, can also help with hot flushes and pain management.
22. Oncology massage – this must be done by a therapist who is versed on the particular needs of someone with cancer, it’s a time to be with yourself and I wouldn’t be without my sessions. I found my therapist via my Pilates & Yoga Instructor.
……..Tread your own path, it’s a continuous journey and BREATHE
Other books when you want further reading: