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You’ve been diagnosed with cancer, now what?

You’re in shock. Maybe you’ve seen the symptoms and had an idea when you went to be checked out. Maybe you didn’t have a clue. A cancer diagnosis is a lot for anyone to process, and with it comes the fear of harsh treatments, side effects, surgeries, and so much more.

I hear you and empathize with you. And while I cannot guarantee that none of those things will happen or tell you it will all be okay, I can stand beside you as you process your options and begin to take steps forward.

Slow Down and Step Back

Take a deep breath. In fact, stop regularly to take a deep breath. Depending on your type and stage of cancer, you’ll have a varying amount of time to respond, but regardless – you do have time to breathe. Make sure you step back and really talk with your family and understand your options before moving forward. If anything is important right now, it’s slowing down and really taking in information.. Then what?

  1. Don’t stress
  2. Trust Nature
  3. Get ready to go radical
  4. Find a holistic health coach
  5. Do your homework

Ready to dive in and learn all you can? You’ve got the tools at your disposal – you CAN and will tackle cancer head on!

You Have Cancer – Now What?

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and you are embarking on one of the more challenging journeys life has to offer. Taking these first steps means you are ready to take on this challenge – even if you don’t feel ready.

Stepping back to weigh your options, learn all you can, and find support along the way is a sign of strength and resilience that will keep you from being passively blindsided along the way. We’re here to help.

  1. Don’t stress, don’t freak out! You’re okay. It may not seem like it right now, but you’re in the middle of a difficult time. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, and even depressed. Working through those feelings is important for your overall health, so take some time to process the information you’ve been given and step back to shake it all loose.

Your immune system is delicately intertwined with your body’s stress response mechanisms. Dwelling in feelings of stress or anxiety can dampen the immune system and risk your health further – especially if you are undergoing traditional therapies.

Caregivers know this and often help their patients develop mindfulness strategies for relieving stress and anxiousness. Without even understanding exactly how the benefits are derived, reductions in symptoms, improvements in quality of life, and even biological markers are noticeable when cancer patients practice intentional mindfulness. (1)

Essential oils are also beneficial for relaxation, best inhaled or diffused periodically. Lavender oil is frequently used for reducing anxiety during medical procedures. (2) Bergamot is another effective stress and anxiety relief tool. Coupled with time spent taking care of yourself – mind and body – these strategies can help you to release some of the tension that the weight of a cancer diagnosis inevitably brings.

  1. Trust Nature. Nature knows how to cure cancer. According to Kerr,

“God designed the DNA for every species of plant and animal on this planet, including human DNA. By comparison, many scientists, who have lots and lots of PhDs, have studied DNA since 1953 and they still don’t have a clue what 97% of human DNA is used for….So it was not necessary for Dr. Kelley to know how to cure cancer. All Dr. Kelley had to know is what God put into Mother Nature to cure cancer.”

God gave us wisdom, instincts, and a plethora of treatment options growing right at our feet. Trust the path that God has set before you, the people around you, and the gifts He gave in nature.

  1. Get ready to go radical! It’s going to take a lot of work and determination, but you’re up to the task. No matter your main treatment plan, adjusting your lifestyle and diet is paramount to any natural protocol – primary or complementary. If you smoke and have lung cancer, you know that you need to quit. But what about fast food? (3) Sugar? (4) Meat? (5) What about chronic stress, as we just talked about? What about exercise? What about prayer and meditation?

Cancer therapy isn’t a one-and-done medication or treatment that can be administered and forgotten about. You have to engage your whole body – including your mind and spirit – in order to effectively change your path. There’s no crystal ball to tell us how your cancer journey will end, but without a doubt, you deserve a fighting chance.

  1. Find and hire a holistic cancer coach. You cannot do this alone. Wading through the nuances of various cancer protocols, advocating for you with your oncologist, helping your family become the support system you need, and simply providing a listening ear? No amount of articles or stories can provide that for you. Find a holistic cancer coach who can partner with you and walk this journey by your side.
  2. Do your homework. Don’t buy into the either/or mentality that says you aren’t welcome in natural therapies because you’re undergoing conventional treatment. But DO learn how your chosen treatment methods best combine. Learn all you can about alternatives, nutrition, chemotherapy or radiation, surgery, and any other treatment options on the table. Essential oils, for example, “can be used in combination with cancer therapy to decrease the side effects of the drugs.” (6)

Know your treatment plans inside and out, backward and forward. This is not a time to become passive – and if you do need to step back and let someone else take the reins, make sure you have trusted loved ones around you who will do the research for you and do it well.

Researchers learn more every day about cancer and its potential therapies. We’ll always have more to learn – so don’t ever stop doing your homework!

Resources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26064068
  2. http://pubget.com/search?q=lavender+essential+oil%2C+anxiety
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24939238
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23530635
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070586/

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