I am often asked why I am an oncology nurse.
And the answer is quite simple.
I see courage, strength and faith wrapped gently
around love and hope.
I hear inspirational stories that can instantly
bring a smile or a tear to my face.
I get to touch, hug, support and nurture.
I am able to make a difference in their lives as they do in mine.
For my patients and I are all connected to something
much greater in this universe.
We all share similar but different stories.
We are all walking the “WALK” together, one day at a time.
My heart is filled with such gratitude in the work that I do.
I get “IT” and I get my patients.
You want to know why.
Because I too, am a cancer survivor.
Patricia Bateson R.N
Winning the battle against cancer is much more than eliminating tumor; it is about healing your life. Here are some keys to do that:
1. Stop “Awfulizing” 2. Take Charge 3. Rethink the statistics
4. Give only Informed Consent 5. Believe in “YOUR” program
6. Heal Your Lifestyle 7. Think holistically 8. Drink lots of pure water
9. Eat with Awareness 10. Walk daily 11. Get more sleep
12. Find a Positive Support System 13. Heal with Your Mind
14. Examine Your Cancer Beliefs 15. Evaluate Your Self-Talk
16. Make Positive Affirmations 17. Reduce Toxic Stress
18. Practice Visualization 19. Understand the Message of Illness
20. Live in the Moment 21. Take Time to Play 22. Laugh Often
23. Evaluate Your Relationships 24. Practice Self-Discipline
25. See Life Through Spiritual Eyes 26. Express Your Emotions
27. Practice Forgiveness 28. Exude Gratitude 29. Love Unconditionally
30. Hold on to HOPE
Select just one and start working on it today. I can only imagine where it may lead you on your journey. I look forward to hearing back from you!!!!
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, extracted from plants, to help mental, emotional and physical well being. Essential oils, known as nature’s living energy, are the natural, aromatic volatile liquids found in trees, flowers, bushes and roots. While essential oils often have a pleasant aroma, their chemical makeup is complex and their benefits vast-which makes them much more than something that simply smells good.
The use of essential oils can be dated far back in Greek and Roman history. Frankincense and myrrh were two of the herbal gifts that the Three Wisemen brought to Jesus when he was born. In fact, these oils are still widely used today. There are various ways to use essential oils. Massage is probably the most popular, but you can also purchase a diffuser which will disperse the oils into the air and have great benefits.
Some oils can help with pain, while others will promote relaxation and aid in sleep and digestion. I believe essential oils can complement traditional therapies and that the two can work well together.
How do these amazing oils work? Smell is the only sense in which the receptor nerve endings are in direct contact with the outside world. The aromatherapy goes straight to the limbic area of the brain through the olfactory system (sense of smell.) The limbic part of the brain is considered to be the emotional seat of the brain which is why people respond to certain scents. Some oils may be stimulating, while others may have relaxing properties. Each one is unique.
I absolutely love these oils as they are gifts from Mother Earth. They are natural, pure and very powerful and I would recommend doing some reading or consulting before using them. I believe once again that it is important to share any complementary therapies with your medical team. You may want the expertise of a holistic doctor or nurse who specializes in essential oils too. Visit the internet and google cancer and aromatherapy. There will be plenty or information to assist you. www.younglivingoils.com is where I purchase my oils. They are the highest grade products on the market.
Oils can help with stress, sleeplessness and depression. They can indirectly help bolster the immune system and aid in anxiety. In a way it is a wonderful treat for yourself to help you heal on an emotional and mental level. Quite crucial, I think when you are experiencing cancer and all that comes with it.
Pan Away is noted to be good for patients with multiple myeloma who may be experiencing a lot of pain. Rub directly on area of concern. Just a drop or two is all that is needed.
Peppermint aids in digestion so it is good for nausea. Putting a drop or two on a tissue and breathing the oil in before chemotherapy may be very helpful. I have seen it work with my own patients prior to their treatments. Peppermint oil can also assist with headaches and depression as both are side effects of treatments or the cancer itself.
Lavender is one of the most popular and beneficial oils of all. It supports breast health, is a tissue regenerator, helps the lymphatic system and is very calming. I rub a few drops on bottom of my feet before bedtime. I also rub it on my breasts and under armpits which is part of the lymphatic system. One or two drops will do.
A friend of mine combines lavender and frankincense for breast wellness. She lets one or two drops of frankincense and one drop of lavender fall into the palm of her hand, she rubs them gently together and then rubs that all over her breasts/chest/armpit area. If you google Dr. H.K. Lin and frankincense you will come across articles on his studies of Sacred Frankincense and Breast Cancer. It is believed to help return DNA to a healthy state. This oil also contains boswellic acid which is a potent antiinflammatory agent against rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, another potential disease and by product of cancer treatments.
One drop of ginger in warm water may aid in nausea/digestion and may also be used to enhance flavor of food. Very important if ones appetite is lacking.
Thieves eliminates airborne bacteria and boosts immune system. Rub a drop or two on bottoms of feet. If you find that your skin is sensitive to a particular oil you can mix it with half a tablespoon to a tablespoon of a scentless organic vegetable oil such as safflower or sunflower. Your skin will let you know. Remember… your body “KNOWS” best. Listen to it!!!
A fabulous book on essential oils is called “The Reference Guide for Essential Oils” by Connie and Alan Higley. Anything you could want to know will be found here. It is a great resource. Another one is “Complete Book of Essential oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood. Essential oils are so popular today that you can buy them in most health food stores and some supermarkets. It is advisable to buy from those who have the expertise and knowledge to guide you and to make sure that the oils are of the best quality. That is why I do recommend Young Living Oils. Lots of product information available too.
I have been using oils for well over ten years now and they have without a doubt been some of the most beneficial plant extracts I have ever used. Lavender was for sure my “best friend” and helped me through some emotionally challenging times especially post surgery and radiation. Whether it was sleep, anxiety,or depression, this therapy worked without any side effects. That was a plus!!!! Thieves and peppermint, I loved too. So many uplifting and soothing benefits to them all.
P.S A few drops of lavender in your bath water is so relaxing to your mind and your muscles. Take time to treat yourself to this. Take a break from the the world of medicine and cancer. Your mind and body will thank you for it. You are worthy of it all……Self care, nurturing and loving you. It will indeed help you heal.
How is your new way of eating working for you? Do you notice anything different about your body and how it feels? Does it feel more vibrant, more alive? Do you have more energy? It’s key to get in touch with sensations and symptoms in your body, because it is always speaking to you and letting you know if it is out of balance or if it feels fabulous. All that is required is that you “listen.”
If change has been somewhat of a challenge, no worries. Big steps, baby steps…. it’s all good. Awareness will open the door to a new way of being. Allow it to come in its own time and fashion.
Let’s being by talking about flax. Flaxseed comes from a flax plant. It is an excellent source of fiber, omega 3’s and lignans. Omega 3’s help boost immunity while lignans help remove excess estrogen from the body. Fiber cleanses the colon and moves out toxins and carcinogens. About 80% of immunity is in your colon and that’s why it’s important to keep things “moving,” so to speak. Flax may be helpful with breast, prostate, endometrial and colon cancers. It can also help with depression and constipation which are common symptoms and side effects from pain meds, chemo and the disease itself . I chose to forego tamoxifen and incorporated flax and supplements into my diet instead. This was with the guidance of a intuitive nutritionist. I asked my body first-listened-and then made a choice. That worked for me.
I purchased a small coffee grinder to grind the whole seeds. I would grind a couple of days worth. I then put the ground flaxseeds either in fridge or freezer and used them on a daily basis. A tablespoon or two is what I initially used and again your body will let you know if that is the right amount. You can put the flax on cereal, yogurt or do what I did. I put the flax in a cup or water and drank it. Was the easiest method for me. Pills are okay too, but the seeds seem to stay fresher. A tablespoon a day is what I now incorporate into my daily diet and my colon is quite grateful.
Decrease or eliminate coffee especially for women as coffee can block your lymphatic system which can lead to fibroid cysts and/or tender breasts. Use natural deodorants that are paraban free, preservative free and chemical free. “WHY????” Part of your lymphatic system is located under your armpits, adjacent to breasts. Your lymphatic system travels to other parts of your body and is an integral part of your body’s immunity.
Supplements are quite a controversy when it comes to cancer but there is more data coming out, indicating that certain supplements may in fact benefit cancer patients. Selenium, vitamin D, vitamin C, probiotics, CO Q10 are a few of the highly touted ones. I have two important pieces of advice here: If you choose to go the supplement route, find a reputable naturopath or nutritionist to properly advise you. I have been seeing the same nutritionist for ten years and she has been instrumental in my healing. She is intuitive and she uses muscle testing to determine exactly what MY body needs. Secondly, let your oncologist and medical team know exactly what supplements you are taking as there are a few that can in fact interact with chemo, radiation or other medications. It is surely possible to incorporate whatever you believe will support your body returning to homeostasis. Your belief in your treatment program should be nothing less than 100%.
Essiac tea is a phenomenal tea that contains four different herbs that support your immune system. If you go to the website @www.essiacinfo.org you can read a great story of how this tea came to be. It is very powerful!!!
Gogi berries have some wonderful benefits such as balancing immune system, tumor growth inhibitor and reduction in toxic effects of chemo and radiation therapy and enhanced blood production. A few of them pack a punch so you don’t need to eat many of them. According to Chinese Medicine, stop taking gogi berries temporarily if you are sick because your digestive system may be weak. If you take coumadin you may want to avoid these berries as the two combined can increase bleeding.
Nurturing your body/mind/spirit is a big piece of the picture. At least, I think so anyway. Taking care of YOU is what I want YOU to do. Taking a hot bath with a cup of sea salt and a cup of baking soda will do you the world of good. This simple treatment helps detoxify the liver and it is a form of relaxation. Add a few drops of lavender oil too to the water. Calming is what lavender does- I will talk much more about oils in an upcoming blog. When your mind relaxes so doesn’t your body and that has a direct affect on chemicals and hormones in a most positive way which in turn have an impact on tissues, muscles and cells. You see, everything is interconnected and assists each other. The body is a beautiful mechanism when all is in “sync.” It for sure, can be!!!!
Tell yourself daily how much you love “YOU.” I know this might sound silly but it works. Just give it a college try!!! Look into your mirror when you’re brushing your teeth or putting on your makeup and just say the words. “I LOVE YOU” ________ (fill in your name.) You just might be surprised at what happens. It is quite freeing actually and may just put a smile on your face that will put you in a positive mood for the day. Yes…. I have done this and yes it has changed my outlook for the better.
So much is possible on this journey. How you choose to look at it may be the key to healing. Be open, pay attention and listen to what your body is trying to tell you for your body is a grand teacher!!!