October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Victory in the form of a clean bill of health beyond chemotherapy and radiation is a worthy celebration. However, the real celebration is for a life redeemed and made new after surviving cancer, a horrible disease. The care you took during your treatments has to be maintained afterwards – turned into a lifestyle – the survivorship lifestyle.
It is not unusual for individuals to survive cancer and return to their previous lifestyles. That’s not good. To receive the greatest benefits of a new lease on life, here are a few tips and resources:
- Scrap some of your old eating habits for newer, healthier and life sustaining habits. Cooking for Your Life promotes a healthy survivorship by offering video food prep instruction, recipes and food storage and shopping advice for those in treatment and for post-treatment.
- We all know the benefits of exercise, but for a survivor, exercise should be an imperative to keep your self-esteem and spirit healthy as well as your internal organs. Moreover, exercise and physical activity increases strength and endurance. Here is a video demonstration of exercises sponsored by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Youtube.com has a number of videos and you can always ask your local hospital for programs and trainers they recommend.
- One useful and sometimes overlooked resource are survivors’ groups. You should talk about your cancer and survivorship with people who can relate. The exchange of thoughts, feelings and even resources are often encouragement and motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle post-treatment. You can find survivors’ groups in almost any community, including faith-based programs. (Use Local.com to identify groups in your area.) There are even online support groups to be found on Facebook, Twitter and in some forums such as I Had Cancer.
- Pursue balance as in pursue some passion, some dream or some hobby that brings you a sense of calm and peace. Do the one thing that satisfies the whole person.
- Eliminate stress and stressful situations as though your life depends on it. Create a drama-free environment at home. Protect that space vigilantly. The Plum supports that part of your lifestyle with helpful tips and information.
A successful survivorship lifestyle takes work and can be hard to incorporate but it is so necessary. It is as necessary as breathing and prayer. The few tips supplied above are useful but feel free to share some of your own in the comment section below.